My name is Kacie. I have been positive for 23 years. Most of my positive life I lived in TN until 2011, when I moved to Lafayette La. I received case management and was immediately sent to the upcoming HEROES Symposium. There, I met a number of friends, including Monica. I heard her story and was amazed that someone like me was living positively and in REAL PERSON. Monica became an inspiration for me, and I was given more access to resources and seminars where I learned more that I ever knew in the 17 years I had been positive.
At the retreat, we learned how to communicate, easy ways to disclose, how effective meds are, and of course the horror stories that go along with it. After the first retreat, I felt more comfortable than I had ever been disclosing my status to others and not feel some type of way about it. The retreat also allowed me to network with others and build long lasting friendships.
The crafts and games are a great way to have fun while at the retreat. I always enjoy making my square for the AIDS quilt. So far, I have 2 squares.
Each year, I hope to go to the retreat, but now since I'm in South Georgia, it gets complicated. I would encourage anyone that is newly diagnosed, or if you've been positive 20 years, you can always learn something from the retreat. Oh, DID I MENTION THE FOOD?!?! You will definitely get some good home cooked Louisiana food!!!
My name is Gina Brown and I am a woman living with HIV. I’ve had the privilege of attending HEROES DREAM Retreats for a number of years and I credit my involvement there with my personal growth. When I started attending I was suffering with self-confidence issues, thanks to the staff at HER OES I’m a more self-confident person!
New Orleans, LA
I attended DREAM for the first time years ago. I was asked to attend by my CEO at the time (Thanks Dimitre Blutcher), and had no idea what it was about. When I arrived on the site where the retreat was held I wanted to run, no TV, no radio, and no phone/cell reception. I was in for a tremendous surprise. I was rejuvenated, refreshed, and spiritually energized. The facilitators were very knowledgeable of the topics they discussed. We did arts and crafts, meditation, and the food was awesome. The retreat was so inspiring and fun I didn't miss the TV, radio , or phone/cell phone. Life long bonds were formed at that retreat and look forward to the next time I am able to attend.
New Orleans, LA
As I sat in front of my computer, I wondered if the words would come easily to me about the program/services Monica started....and of course they did. I've known Monica most of my life. Her kind spirit and love for people always drew many close to her. When she asked me if I would provide a dance workshop or two for the children in her program, I could not resist. It gave me an opportunity to bring some of my dancers along to collaborate with her group and just have a great time. The kids danced, mingled, talked and encouraged each other. Monica made me, she made us feel at home. She even opened her home to us on numerous occasions. How could you not want to be around such a giving person!!! HEROES change lives, it changed my life. I'm forever grateful that Monica thought of me when she needed a dancer. And I'm forever grateful that she has impacted my life. I'm a giver..... expecting nothing in return. Thanks HEROES and Monica!